Richard Burgi out for "inadvertently" violating Y&R's COVID policy, Guiding Light's Robert Newman tapped as new Ashland

Posted Tuesday, January 11, 2022 2:44:54 PM
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Richard Burgi has revealed the reason for his dismissal from The Young and the Restless. Meanwhile, the CBS soap has confirmed that it has recast the role of Ashland Locke.

Fans still reeling over this weekend's announcement by Richard Burgi that he was "moving on" from The Young and the Restless should prepare for another shock. The role has been recast.

Guiding Light alum Robert Newman (Josh Lewis) has been tapped to take over the role, beginning next month. Newman made his debut on Guiding Light in 1981 and -- with a handful of short-term exits -- remained with the CBS soap through its 2009 finale.

With Burgi out, many Y&R fans wondered what would become of Ashland. Would the experimental cancer treatment that he had been receiving stop working? Would the character simply walk out on his marriage to Victoria? But the question most fans wanted to know was why Burgi was unexpectedly released from the show.

Burgi took to Instagram Tuesday evening to clarify the events that led to his dismissal. In an Instagram story, Burgi said that he "naively and inadvertently violated the show's COVID policy."

In the video, Burgi stated that he returned to the East Coast over the Christmas break to visit his 97-year-old mother. Somewhere around Christmas, Burgi said that he tested positive for COVID. After testing positive, Burgi stated that he "took the necessary five days [of quarantine] the CDC recommends" before reporting back to work at Y&R, where he subsequently tested negative for COVID on two consecutive days. The five-day quarantine, according to Burgi, was not in line with the ten-day policy set by Y&R.

"I felt terrible about it. I still do. It bothers me mightily, but it is what it is," Burgi said. "I respect whatever the show's decision is. They are doing the best they can, as we all are."

Burgi went on to wish Newman well in taking over the role of Ashland and praised "the most incredible actress and great, great cast" at Y&R.

For his part, Newman took to Facebook to discuss joining the Y&R cast.

ďThanks to everyone for the sweet posts and messages about my joining the cast of Y&R,Ē Newman shared. ďI couldnít be more pleased. Iíve had great respect for the show and [its] wonderful cast for many, many years. Iím happy to be a part of it."

Newman said that he had a "lovely Zoom meeting" with [co-executive producer and head writer ] Josh Griffith and [executive producer] Anthony Morina.

"We talked quite a bit about the character, and Iím very excited by the scripts Iím getting so far. Iím scared to death, of course, but I think thatís healthy," Newman continued. "Itíll be a new adventure and Iím feeling pretty blessed to have the opportunity. Cheers!Ē

Newman will make his Y&R debut on Wednesday, February 9. It is unclear how long Newman will be sticking around on Y&R.

Soap Central reached out to both CBS and Sony Pictures Television. Both declined to comment.

Photo of Robert Newman: LPKim Photography

What do you think of the decision to recast Ashland? Are you excited to see a Guiding Light fave back on-screen? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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